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“Your call is important to us, and will be answered in the order in which it was received. Please hold for the next available agent.” [Cue hold music]

We’ve all heard this, or some variation of it, right? And of course, the music. The iconic music. For decades, millions of people have been listening to this while waiting to speak with someone. In fact, since 2001, every single Cisco phone has come with our signature hold music as a standard feature.

Cult Following for Hold Music

Over the years, it’s developed its own cult-like following, having been reported on by local and national media following its feature in a This American Life podcast in 2014. Search for “Cisco Hold Music” and you’ll be amazed at the results!

People find this music a soothing backdrop to their workday. It is so beloved by some that there’s a full hour video of it playing on repeat. Or if you need more, there’s one that clocks in at almost 10 hours. Some have said it could be the Customer Service national anthem. One of my favorite comments is that this is the only hold music that doesn’t cause anger!

This synth-heavy, 80s-influenced tune is more formally known as Opus No. 1. The story behind it is an authentic Silicon Valley garage creation-story: then-teenagers Tim Carleton and his friend Darrick Deel in 1989 were playing around and recorded a song in their garage on a four-track tape recorder. That was that – into a box it went. Until Darrick got a job at Cisco, working on its first version of IP phones. And the rest is history… this high school composition has become the hold music for the world’s most popular phone systems.

Innovation over Time and Cisco Phones

Announcing our Contest!

To mark this milestone of selling our 100 millionth phone, we’re holding a contest for Opus No. 2, er, new hold music… and this is where you can get involved. You might have seen Guillermo, Cleto, and the Cletones announce the contest on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live last night. While they’re having fun, rest assured they aren’t competing!

The contest is pretty simple – submit a new, original instrumental of less than 3 minutes – but be sure to read all the rules first. The winning musician or band will have the opportunity to temporarily replace Opus No. 1 for the month of January. And winners will be announced at our premier collaboration event WebexONE in December [Stay tuned for more details!]

We’re really looking forward to hearing what people create, so start thinking about your Opus No. 2 today. Now, can you put me back on hold?

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